Earlier this year in April the Restless Being team visited a village called Mikhailovka in Karakol, in the north east region of Kyrgyzstan. This village was home to Viniera and Nuzrat, both aged 21, who both tragically took their own lives in the aftermath of non-consensual Ala-Kachuu (bride-kidnapping).
The practice of Ala Kachuu is much worse in extremely rural places and both these young women left behind grief stricken families. Viniera left behind a distraught father, younger brother and niece and sadly Nuzrat committed suicide whilst still being pregnant. Restless Beings met with both families in April and kindly helped us develop a short documentary about the realities and hard truths about the practice of non-consensual Ala Kachuu. Since then we have been in touch with the families and have been working with our partner organisation, Sezim, to provide them with support!
This Ramadan we made visits to Mikhailovka to see how the families were coping and to provide some welcomed Eid gifts from the donations given by you! Our Kyrgyz contact managed to see both Viniera’s and Nuzrat’s families, many of whom at this time go grazing cattle and cows in the mountains, and welcomed the support Restless Beings showed.
This year our ‘A Helping Hamper’ campaign not only provided much need basic necessities to women at the refugee centre in Bishkek but we also provided financial support to these families to buy school supplies for their children as well as allowing Nuzrat’s mother to finally purchase her daughter a gravestone.
Nuzrat's mother outside the family home.
Ala Kachuu has been outlawed in Kyrgyzstan for many years and repeatedly the government has stated a stronger commitment to tackling this yet its impact has been minimal. The Kyrgyzstan Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun estimates that more than 8,000 women are kidnapped each year yet only a few cases ever reach the courts.
Restless Beings works in partnership with a Kyrgyz NGO, Sezim, to help support victims of Ala Kachuu and other forms of domestic violence; 100% of donations are used to provide counselling to Ala-Kachuu victims; ongoing support for a transit refuge centre for displaced women and an educational outreach programme for the long term alleviation on non-consensual Ala-Kachuu. Our work depends of the generosity of our supporters and if you would like to support this project click here.
Viniera's family receiving thier gifts made possible by YOU.